Who Is Josko Gvardiol: Early Life, Education, Career, Personal Life, Net Worth
Who Is Josko Gvardiol: Early Life, Education, Career, Personal Life, Net Worth

Joško Gvardiol (born 23 January 2002) is a Croatian professional footballer who plays as a defender for Bundesliga club RB Leipzig and the Croatia national team.

Here is his early life, education, career, personal life, and net worth.

Who is Josko Gvardiol?

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Josko Gvardiol is a Croatian professional footballer whois signed to the Bundesliga side RB Leipzig as a defender. A full international since 2021, he has earned 9 caps from Croatia national football team.

He played for NK Tresnjevka Zagreb from 2009-2010, for GNK Dinamo Zagreb from 2010-2021, for GNK Dinamo Zagreb U 19 from 2019-2020 and has played for RB Leipzig since 2021.

Early Life and Education

Josko Gvardiol was born on 23 January 2002 in Zagreb, Croatia. He is the son of Tihomir Gvardio who was an amateur player in his native Novigrad.

Gvardiol started playing football at age of seven with Nogometni Klub Trešnjevka in Zagreb. He then moved to Dinamo academy, at the Dinamo Zagreb academy he was deployed as left-back or center defender until coach Dalibor Poldrugač moved him to the center-back position.

Early Career

Photo: Premier League
Photo: Premier League

Gvardiol started playing football at the age of seven when his father Tihomir, once an amateur player in his native Novigrad, took him to Trešnjevka. While there, he was spotted by Lokomotiva and Zagreb; however, at the last minute he received an offer from Dinamo Zagreb which his family accepted.

Initially, he played as a left-back or a central midfielder until Dinamo academy coach Dalibor Poldrugač moved him to the centre-back position. Soon after, Gvardiol started drawing interest from prominent European clubs, including Manchester City, Lille, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich, Ajax, Inter Milan and Roma. He played a key part in Dinamo's 2018–19 UEFA Youth League campaign, where they reached quarter-finals before losing 4–2 to Chelsea in a penalty shootout. After being impressed by his performances for youth teams, senior Dinamo coach Nenad Bjelica called Gvardiol up to the senior team for pre-season games in Slovenia in summer 2019. On 2 July, he scored in a 2–0 friendly win over Austria Klagenfurt. On 10 October 2019, he was included in The Guardian's Next Generation list.


Dinamo Zagreb

2019–20 season

Photo: Premier League
Photo: Premier League

Gvardiol made his league debut for the senior Dinamo team on 18 October in a 4–2 victory over Gorica, coming on for Mario Gavranović in the 87th minute. In his second league appearance for the club on 2 November, he scored the only goal in a 1–0 victory over Inter Zaprešić. That made him the sixth youngest league goalscorer for Dinamo, after Alen Halilović, Mateo Kovačić, Niko Kranjčar, Ante Ćorić and Tin Jedvaj. On 12 February 2020, in a UEFA Youth League play-off against Dynamo Kyiv, Gvardiol successfully converted a penalty in a shootout as Dinamo won 4–3 and qualified for the round of 16. In the round of 16 against Bayern Munich on 4 March, Gvardiol reflected Leon Dajaku's shot into his own net to set the score to 2–2. In the resulting shootout, he successfully converted his attempt again as Dinamo won 6–5 and progressed to the quarter-finals. On 25 June, Gvardiol signed a five-year contract with Dinamo. On 5 July, in the derby against Rijeka when the league title was already mathematically secured, Gvardiol reflected Franko Andrijašević's shot into his own net as Rijeka won 2–0, which would eventually cost coach Igor Jovićević his job.

2020–21 season

On 26 August, in the Champions League qualifier against CFR Cluj, Gvardiol came on for Mario Gavranović in the 54th minute following Kévin Théophile-Catherine's red card. The game led to a penalty shootout, with Gvardiol successfully converting his attempt, as Dinamo won 6–5 and progressed to the third qualifying round. In late August and early September, the media reported on the interest of the newly promoted Premier League side Leeds United, whose manager Marcelo Bielsa offered €22 million to sign the 18-year-old; however, Gvardiol refused the offer and opted to stay in the Prva HNL and develop further. On 16 September, in a Champions League qualifier against Ferencváros, Gvardiol made an error that led to Myrto Uzuni's winning goal for 2–1 as the Hungarian champions knocked Dinamo out to the Europa League play-offs.

However, on 28 September, it was announced that Gvardiol signed for Bundesliga club RB Leipzig on a five-year contract for €16 million, plus various add-ons. The fee was the highest ever paid for a Croatian teenager and the third highest ever paid for a Croatian defender, only behind Dejan Lovren and Duje Ćaleta-Car. Gvardiol remained at Dinamo for the remainder of the season. On 22 October, he debuted for Dinamo in a senior UEFA competition, as Dinamo drew 0–0 with Feyenoord in the Europa League. On 16 November, Gvardiol tested positive for COVID-19, which forced him to miss the derby against Osijek, now coached by Bjelica, on 21 November. On 10 December, Gvardiol scored his first goal in a senior UEFA competition, as Dinamo defeated CSKA Moscow 3–1 in the Europa League. After completion of the Europa League group stage, Gvardiol's performances were highly praised, as Dinamo conceded only one goal and topped their group.[35] On 28 February 2021, he scored the opening goal and assisted the third one in a 3–0 victory over Slaven Belupo. However, after a quadriceps injury in training in early March, he was forced to miss both legs of Dinamo's Europa League Round of 16 tie against Tottenham Hotspur, which Dinamo won 3–2 on aggregate. He returned for the quarter-final match against Villarreal on 8 April, which ended as a 1–0 loss. Three days later, he scored his third goal of the season in a 2–0 victory over Lokomotiva. On 22 May, Gvardiol played his last game for Dinamo, 1–0 victory over Šibenik.

RB Leipzig

Gvardiol made his Bundesliga debut on 20 August 2021 in a 4–0 victory over VfB Stuttgart, playing the entire match. He quickly established himself in Leipzig's starting XI and attracted attention with his good plays. On 15 September, he made his Champions League debut in a 6–3 defeat to Manchester City. On 11 December, he scored his debut goal for Leipzig in a 4–1 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach. He significantly contributed to Leipzig's good form during the beginning of Domenico Tedesco's tenure as manager, after the poor start of the season during previous manager Jesse Marsch's term. On 23 January 2022, he scored his second goal of the season in a 2–0 victory over VfL Wolfsburg. By the end of the season, Gvardiol helped Leipzig win the DFB-Pokal and reach the semi-finals of the Europa League, accomplishing both feats for the first time in the history of the club.


Photo: Bundesliga
Photo: Bundesliga

Joško Gvardiol has played 29 matches throughout the course of his career in the Bundesliga. Of these, he has won 15. He has played all the matches of his career in the Bundesliga as a member of RB Leipzig. Here, he has put a total of two balls in the net.

International career

Gvardiol earned his first call-up to Croatia national under-21 team in October 2019, at the age of 17, when coach Igor Bišćan listed him in the squad for Under-21 Euro 2021 qualifiers against Lithuania and the Czech Republic. Gvardiol debuted on 14 November against the former opponent, being named in the starting lineup, as Croatia won 3–1. On 8 October 2020, he scored the tenth goal in Croatia's 10–0 victory over San Marino, the largest victory in the history of the national team. On 9 March 2021, he was named in Bišćan's 23-man squad for the group stage of the tournament; however, he was forced to miss it due to a quadriceps injury. On 17 May, he was named in Bišćan's 23-man squad for the knockout stage of the tournament, as well as Zlatko Dalić's 26-man squad for the UEFA Euro 2020.

After losing 2–1 to Spain after extra time in the Under-21 Euro quarter-final, Gvardiol joined the senior team. He made his senior debut in a friendly 1–0 defeat to Belgium on 6 June, being substituted on for Borna Barišić at half-time. A week later, he earned his first start for the national team, in a 1–0 defeat to England in Croatia's opening game of Euro 2020. With 19 years, four months and 21 days, he became the youngest ever player to play for Croatia at a major tournament, surpassing Mateo Kovačić. He went on to start all Croatia's games at the tournament. On 8 October 2021, he scored his debut goal for Croatia in a 3–0 World Cup qualifying victory over Cyprus.

How Much Is Josko Gvardiol's Net Worth?

Photo: 90min
Photo: 90min

Signed to Bundesliga side RB Leipzig, Josko Gvardiol has an weekly salary of £21,000 which is £1,092,000 per annum. Lukas Klostermann is the highest-paid footballer of Leipzig with an annual salary of £4,264,000.

The shirt no. 32 defender has a market value of €25 million, updated on 22nd December 2021. He is endorsed by Adidas.

Besides, he is also a team member of the Croatia national team from where he makes a decent sum of money. His net worth is approximately $1 million.

Is Josko Gvardiol Dating?

There is no report about Josko Gvardiol's love life in the media. This nineteen years old football guy has maintained his personal life as secret as possible. His Instagram where he has 60.3k followers is all about his football post. Since there is no confirmation, he is believed to be single.

Style of Play

Photo: Sports Illustrated
Photo: Sports Illustrated

Gvardiol combines a powerful physical presence with coolness and assertiveness on the ball - and his experience in both a back three and back four approach points to his versatility and adaptability, traits that Thomas Tuchel highly values. His style of play can be compared to Rudiger - both players are left-footed and their game centres on roaming forward to break midfield lines, accurate long-range passing, and strong one-on-one defensive acumen. The defender was recently praised by Germania Sport’s journalist Izak Ante Sucic, saying “In Croatia we like to compare him to Virgil van Dijk, because he’s built that way”.

Gvardiol’s advanced statistics paint a picture of a highly-promising talent already performing at a high quality level across a range of metrics. When compared to centre-backs in Europes ‘top five’ leagues, the Croatian’s passing capability is made clear - he ranks in the top 3% for ‘progressive passing distance’ and passes completed per 90, as well as through balls and ‘passes under pressure’ per 90.

Gvardiol also ranks 3rd in the Bundesliga for passes into the final third with 164, and 6th for overall ‘progressive passes’. With Tuchel setting up his Chelsea side to launch attacks with long-range, diagonal passes from his centre-backs, Gvardiol certainly aligns with this vision.

Gvardiol is also happy to throw his weight around and get involved in the ‘nitty-gritty’ of defending - ranking in the top 6% for European defenders for tackles and interceptions per 90 (5.37), as well as in the top 14% for successful pressures per 90 (4.57), with the 4th most interceptions in the Bundesliga this season (88). Despite only being 6’1 in height, Gvardiol is able to dominate physically, a trait that should allow him to adapt nicely to the intensity of Premier League football.

Another Rudiger comparison comes in his preference for driving into opposition territory with the ball at his feet, his 1.87 carries into the final 3rd per 90 ranking in the top 2% for European defenders. This is evident when taking a look at his heat map for the Bundesliga this season - a huge amount of activity occurring in advanced attacking positions. With two centre-backs remaining in defensive areas in Tuchel’s set up, a centre-back that is both willing and able to join in attack will be hugely vital, and a trait that will be massively reduced with Rudiger’s departure:

Gvardiol is clearly one of the finest young centre-backs in world football currently, and a perfect example of this was his performance in the 1-0 home leg Europa League semi-final win over Rangers. In 90 minutes, Gvardiol won 3/4 aerial duels, played 11 successful long balls, and completed a staggering 129 accurate passes, misplacing only 13. His completed passes, touches, accurate long balls and clearances were the most in the Leipzig side, as the Germans look to set up a final versus either compatriots Eintracht Frankfurt or West Ham.

With both Rudiger and Christensen set to depart, the acquisitions of Gvardiol and Jules Kounde in the summer would be superb business in what is likely to be a huge overhaul as Chelsea look to compete in multiple competitions again next season under Thomas Tuchel. Contracted in Germany until 2026, it may take a hefty fee to prize the defender away, although this will likely be worth every penny.


• Birth Name: Josko Gvardiol

• Birth Place: Zagreb, Croatia

• Famous Name: Josko Gvardiol

• Net Worth: $1 million

• Salary: £1,092,000

• Position in Team: Centre-back, left-back

• Current team: RB Leipzig

• Nationality: Croatian

• Profession: Soccer Player

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